Is Evolution Predictable? – ScienceNOW

“Fifty to 100 genes affect whether a worm enters the dauer state. In theory, deletions on any of them could keep worms from becoming dauer larvae. But many of these genes affect several aspects of the animal’s development and physiology, whereas the pheromone receptors simply sense the environment and thus can be lost harmlessly, Bargmann […]

PLoS Pathogens: Selection of Resistant Bacteria at Very Low Antibiotic Concentrations

“These results add another dimension to the evolution of resistance and suggest that the low antibiotic concentrations found in many natural environments are important for enrichment and maintenance of resistance in bacterial populations.” I get a feeling that antibiotics will soon become as archaic as blood-letting. The sooner we deal with the consequences that any […]

Ancient DNA reveals secrets of human history : Nature News

“The past months have seen a swathe of discoveries, from details about when Neanderthals and humans interbred, to the important disease-fighting genes that humans now have as a result of those trysts.” Really nice article on the state of ancient DNA genomics. Really interesting and makes me imagine what the world was like with other […]

Brown calls change to brewery rules a ‘job-killer’ –

“Senator Scott Brown yesterday condemned a rule change at the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission that beer makers say could harm 25 craft brewers in Massachusetts, and even put some smaller companies out of business. The ABCC issued the revised rule, which has yet to be finalized, earlier this week. It would require the roughly […]

Small Things Considered: Now That’s Using Your Head!

Cool discovery of bactriophage infection that uses a head filament to catch bacterial flagellum. And the motions of the flagellum then draw the virus in and then away to increase chances of infection. Quite cool bit of detective work to reveal years of interesting infection rate data. Read this article…

Region awash in a new wave of wee breweries with big plans – The Boston Globe

“Where others see barroom taps crowded with beer options, Chris Lohring sees opportunity brewing.” A nice article on the state of breweries in the region, the business, and the entrepreneurs. Quite exciting. As for me, I’ll stick to small time 5-gal brewing. Read this article…

Photos: Mass. breweries and their top beers –

“Brewing good beer isn’t something unique to Ireland, Germany, or the mountains of Vermont. In fact, there are quite a few craft breweries in Massachusetts that find an appreciative customer base both inside and beyond the borders of the Bay State. “Here are 10 breweries and brewpubs that produce their suds in the state, as […]

Photos: Local craft breweries are on the rise –

“A new wave of niche breweries is the most noteworthy since the mid-1990s. New England is playing catch-up with California and other parts of the country already experiencing their own craft beer boomlets.” Take a look at the inner workings of a brewery. Read this article…

Sociometric Solutions deploying digital ‘dog tags’ to track employee interactions –

“The digital dog tag, which Watertown-based Sociometric Solutions calls the “sociometric badge,” has a built-in microphone that can gauge how much you talk (versus how much you listen); an accelerometer that can tell how much you sit versus how much you move around; and an infrared sensor that can tell when you’re facing other people […]

Impact of Endofungal Bacteria on Infection Biology, Food Safety, and Drug Development: PLoS Pathogens

“The filamentous mould Rhizopus microsporus is a member of the zygomycetes (lower fungi). While some strains serve as food fermenting fungi, others represent infamous plant pathogens and opportunistic human pathogens. Recently, it was shown that some strains of R. microsporus are associated with symbiotic bacteria. Here, we outline why these organisms are important for human […]